Good morning, happy New Year.

Not much has changed; we’re still in a global death spiral marked by the failures of late capitalism, the current world order, and public trust of institutions such as the government and the media, which has manifested itself in the form of a Donald Trump presidency and outright rejection of establishment politicians all across the Western world. Along with further climate destabilization caused by global warming, these problems will surely be exacerbated over the next year, and likely, at least the next four.

But hey, look on the brightside: Pat McCrory isn’t the damn governor anymore.

1. Roy Cooper was sworn in yesterday, shortly after midnight.

“I will work to be a governor of all of North Carolina,” Cooper said in brief remarks early Sunday morning. “I love this state. It is the place where I grew up, it is the place where I have worked and worshiped and studied. It is the place I have lived all of my life and I recognize the solemn duty that has been placed upon me and the opportunity that the people of this state have given to me.”

Getting his administration in place will be his first major challenge, and the Republican-led General Assembly has made that more difficult by passing a law requiring Senate confirmation of his nominees to lead state agencies such as Health and Human Services, Public Safety and Transportation.

In a farewell video, Pat McCrory said his accomplishments were “greater than any administration over the past twenty-five years.”

Whatever helps you sleep at night, buddy.

2. Cooper sues over changes to Board of Elections, federal judge grants stay.

On Wednesday, the State Board of Education sued to stop changes from going into effect that would hand over control of some of its authority to new Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson.

On Friday, Cooper announced legal actions of his own, to stop changes from going into effect at the state Board of Elections, and a judge issued a temporary restraining order.

A Superior Court judge issued a temporary restraining order Friday to stop a state law the Republican-led General Assembly passed two weeks ago to change the structure of North Carolina’s state and county boards of elections from taking effect Sunday.

The order came hours after incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday filed a legal challenge to the law, which rolls the state’s Board of Elections, Ethics Commission and a division of the Secretary of State’s Office that oversees compliance with lobbying laws into a single independent agency run by an eight-member board split evenly between Republicans and Democrats.

Judge Donald Stephens has set a Jan. 5 hearing to determine whether the law should be put on hold indefinitely until courts can determine whether it’s constitutional.

Under Senate Bill 4, lawmakers would appoint four of the eight members of the new board, with the governor appointing the other four, and a super-majority of six votes among board members would be needed to exercise most of the board’s oversight powers, including issuing subpoenas or calling new elections.

3. Turkish nightclub shooting leaves thirty-nine dead.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, in which a gunman opened fire with an AK-47 in the crowded club, much like the attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in June. The Turkish government pointed the finger at the militant group Islamic State, which has killed more than 100 people in Turkey over the last year and a half.

The attack on the Reina nightclub appeared different from the group’s usual operations, however. Islamic State almost always sends its attackers with a suicide vest, said Gareth Jenkins, an Istanbul-based security analyst with the Silk Road Institute. If Islamic State did carry out the New Year’s attack, it was an anomaly because the gunman was apparently planning to escape with his life.

4. Thirty-five Russian diplomats expelled from U.S. in response to alleged hacks during 2016 election.

The Obama administration on Thursday announced its retaliation for Russian efforts to interfere with the US presidential election, ordering sweeping new sanctions that included the expulsion of 35 Russians.

US intelligence services believe Russia ordered cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Hillary Clinton’s campaign and other political organizations, in an attempt to influence the election in favor of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

In a statement issued two weeks after the president said he would respond to cyber-attacks by Moscow “at a time and place of our choosing”, Obama said Americans should “be alarmed by Russia’s actions” and pledged further action.

“I have issued an executive order that provides additional authority for responding to certain cyber activity that seeks to interfere with or undermine our election processes and institutions, or those of our allies or partners,” Obama said in the statement, released while he was vacationing with his family in Hawaii.

5. Public hearing for Raleigh’s budget tomorrow night at 7 p.m.

At the first evening session of the year for the Raleigh City Council tomorrow night, the public will be able to provide input as to what should be included in next year’s budget.

Annual Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program
Ben Canada, Budget and Management Services

This is a hearing to provide an opportunity for the public to provide input as to what should be included in the Fiscal Year 2017-18 Budget and Capital Improvement Program.

Following the hearing, the comments should be referred to administration for
consideration when preparing the proposed budget.

6. In case you missed it, a DHHS employee called Elizabeth Warren a, um, bad thing.

Just click the link. It’s worth it. Trust us.

That’s all for today. Have a good one.